Herbs have been included in the human cuisine since ancient times. Apart from the amazing taste, smell and the aesthetic benefit of herbs in our recipes, they have been known to have many health benefits for our bodies. There are thousands of edible species of herbs in the world today. Before the age of modern medicine, humans used herbs to cure different illnesses hence their medicinal reputation. So, how can herbs improve our body’s health? Below are some of the most commonly used herbs and the health benefits we can reap from their use.
Distantly related to ginger, turmeric is used in the production of curry powder. A chemical substance in turmeric called Curcumin, has been known to help in reducing inflammation. Research has showed that Curcumin blocks the growth of some tumors. A tablespoon of turmeric has 29% of the recommended daily iron intake.
This evergreen herb with a penetrating fragrance is rich in essential minerals and vitamins. Thyme has health promoting and disease prevention abilities. Thymol an essential oil found in these herbs has anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities. Antioxidants found in thyme are chemical compounds that help the body to resist many diseases including cancer and arthritis.
Oregano is an aromatic herb used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It has been used for ages to treat skin conditions including dandruff and acne due to its antibacterial abilities. A Pair of volatile oils (thymol and carvacrol) that are present in this pungent green plant prevents the growth of bacteria. Oregano is also a perfect source of fiber and is a clever addition to a meal.
Mint is one of the most commonly used herbs mostly as a flavor due to its unique smell. Peppermint is used today to treat throat inflammation, respiratory infections and sinuses. Spearmint is essential in treatment of indigestion, gas, diarrhea and nausea. Bladder related illnesses like gall stones and swelling of the bladder are also treated using this herb. Mint is a good appetizer and lest you forget, an important ingredient in mouth freshener products.
Suffering from nasal congestion and allergies? Then include this herb in your diet. Rosemary is able to suppress allergic reactions and nasal congestions and is a good way to treat these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Rosemary is rich in health boosting vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin A, and folic acid. Potassium a mineral present in rosemary helps in regulating blood pressure, limiting the risks of heart related diseases.
Sage was awarded the herb of the year award by the international herb organization. If its health promoting qualities are anything to by, it’s easy to guess why it topped the list. Studies have highlighted sage’s ability to enhance brain memory. It also contains active compounds similar to those used in manufacturing Alzheimer’s disease medication. The rosmarinic acid found in sage is used as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Herbs give our bodies the strength to fight many illnesses. To keep diseases at bay, it is important to develop a habit of including edible herbs in our diets. Growing some of these herbs in a garden alongside other foods could be a great idea too.